September 20, 2012

2011 Flying Heart Cellars Red Wine - $5

Not sure what I was thinking when I picked up this Ed Hardy-esque labeled red blend, but it is down right awful. Overly sweet and completely unbalanced. This bottle is going back to Trader Joe's and I suggest you avoid at all costs.

thumbs down

May 8, 2012

2010 County Fair Wingman Shiraz Viognier - $7

A rich yet tart Shiraz with flavors of cherry and red raspberry.

thumbs up

May 2, 2012

2009 Trader Joe's Coastal Syrah - $5

Big and spicy. Jammy too. Very traditional Syrah feel to this one. Grab this if you're looking for a cheap bottle of very drinkable red wine.

thumbs up

April 6, 2012

2010 Marqués de Montañana Viura - $4.50

A crisp, dry, easy drinking white. Not much on the nose, and no real predominant flavors, but nicely balanced. Make this your go-to table white for under $5.

thumbs up

March 16, 2012

2010 Spiral Wines Cabernet Sauvignon - $6

Deep dark purple color. Perfumey nose. Dark fruit flavors, but ultimately tastes cheap. Little nip of tannic bite at the end.

All that, and $1 more than last year's batch? No thank you.

thumbs down - 77

March 14, 2012

2010 Old Moon Old Vine Zinfandel - $6

Tastes like bad raisins. Drink with at least four straws.

thumbs down - 65

March 11, 2012

2010 Eco Vino Chardonnay - $12

1.5 liters of rich golden colored Chardonnay with a mellow, rounded flavor that's not too buttery and finishes pleasantly. Alas, it's a bit ho-hum. Nothing exciting, but a nice value and would make for a fine party wine.

thumbs up - 82

March 8, 2012

2009 Trader Joe's Reserve Syrah - $10

Great ruby color. Pleasant nose with dark berry tones. Dark flavors for a Syrah: toffee, leathery, hint of plum.

thumbs up - 86

March 6, 2012

2010 MGM Pinot Noir - $7

Heavy color for a Pinot. Tight nose with hints of gasoline and perfume. Strawberry fruit leather and a bit astringent on the taste. Not good. 

thumbs down - 70

February 24, 2012

2010 David Frost Shiraz - $7

A dark, inky nose to match a dark, leathery taste with an ever so slightly tannic finish. Not your typical Shiraz, but tasty nonetheless. 

thumbs up - 83

February 21, 2012

2008 Red Diamond Merlot - $9

A smooth drinking bottle of merlot with prominent flavors of blueberry and plum. With the bottle sealed up, this kept well for days after opening.

thumbs up - 86

February 12, 2012

2009 Green Barn Red Field Blend - $5

Smooth and easy drinking with a light nose of white pepper. Predominant tart cherry flavors, but good depth of flavor for a five dollar bottle. As a bonus, this is tasty and ready to drink immediately after uncorking.

thumbs up - 89

January 28, 2012

2008 Black Barrel Syrah - $9

Inky, spicy, jammy and just a tad buttery. The high alcohol content adds just a touch of heat down the gullet.

thumbs up - 86

January 25, 2012

2009 Pasqua Ripasso - $9

Great light ruby color. Taste of tart red berry and a hint of Concord grape. Light and easy drinking. Not too complex, but certainly serviceable. 

thumbs up - 83

January 17, 2012

2010 Chateau Moulin de Beausejour Bordeaux - $8

Why I continue to try old world French wines from Trader Joe's is beyond me. Avoid this like the plague.

thumbs down - 55

January 12, 2012

2008 Black Barrel Merlot - $9

A dark, rich, smooth Merlot with a tight nose and a long finish. A touch of chocolate is hidden behind the dominant dark red fruit flavors. Drinkable immediately and still good four days after opening.

thumbs up - 86

January 9, 2012

2010 Rabbit Ridge Allure de Robles - $6

Big bold blackcurrant flavor that's heavy on the oak with a funky fishy aftertaste.

thumbs down - 73

January 6, 2012

2009 Ryan Patrick Vineyards Naked Chardonnay - $6

Nice crisp prototypical Chardonnay taste without a wiff of oak. Exactly as its billed. Kudos. 

thumbs up - 84

January 1, 2012

2010 Roccalta Sangiovese - $4

Leathery, old world fruit on the nose. Tart plum. Nice bit of spice. Short finish. 

thumbs up - 84

May 12, 2011

Trader Joe

The Los Angeles Times has a great interview with Trader Joe himself, including this bit of advice about two-buck Chuck.
I tell people, on every case there's not only a date, there's an hour code. Write that down and if you like that bottle, go back and try to find the same date and hour. [The wine] will vary tremendously because of the volume -- 6 million cases or whatever it is a year. It is discontinuous; you cannot count that next month your Charles T. Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon will taste same as the last one.